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Best Reward Card for Spring Break in Mexico?

Best Reward Card for Spring Break in Mexico?

Old Jan 31, 12, 1:23 pm
  #1  
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Best Reward Card for Spring Break in Mexico?

So I am gearing up for a round of churning in the next week or two, and now that I am in the miles game I thought it would be cool to finally have a stereotypical party spring break in Mexico somewhere. Not settled on a specific location just yet (Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, ect.), but since I was planning on getting some new cards anyways I am wondering what would be my best bet for a card that will give me:

1. Enough miles for a round trip flight to somewhere in Mexico from San Francisco, California.
2. An Airline/Card that gives a good redemption rate for Mexico/California travel, which card will give me the most bang for my buck for this type of travel.
3. A card that has $0 or very low minimum spend, and that the points post fairly quickly (as I am looking at Spring Break travel in mid-march, so I need the points pronto)

My first thought is the Chase Southwest card, no spend, big bonus, and a great value for "domestic travel", but I don't have much experience flying with them and don't know if Mexico really falls into the realm of "domestic."

If anyone has any experience redeeming Southwest points for Mexico travel, or have any other good recommendations I'd love to hear! Thanks!

-Mm
Miles Meyers is offline  
Old Jan 31, 12, 2:28 pm
  #2  
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Is there a card that offers body shot rewards?
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Old Jan 31, 12, 2:33 pm
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try the chase freedom card. you get 300 cash back for 500 spend with no annual fee then take the 300 and buy a cheap ticket to mexico, gonna be much easier than trying to redeem miles on short notice at a peak time
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Old Jan 31, 12, 3:32 pm
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At this point, you won't be able to get the miles from any bonus in time to redeem for any travel in March. It takes almost a week from when you apply to get the card. Then even if you hit the minimum spends instantly and get the bonus on your first statement it'll be late February or early March before you get them. No miles/points card has $0 spend so it'll be at least a couple days before you hit the spend limit.

Even if you found a card that posted your points quicker and you got them mid to late February, you'll have to spend way more to redeem for travel on such short notice. Chase allows you to choose your billing date, so in theory you could make it a week or two after you get the card and spend super fast to hit the minimums. Then you'd get your points on that first statement....in theory.

Your best bet might be the Chase Freedom + Chase Sapphire Preferred combo. The points post on your first statement once you hit the spend and since you can spend the points at 1.25 cpp towards travel you can redeem for travel easily. Or you can always transfer your 80,000 points to Southwest or United and get an award ticket, but again tickets this late will be hard to find or expensive redemptions.

If I were you though, I'd just pay cash for some cheap tickets now and save my points for a trip later in the year when I find a good value award ticket. Use a good card now to earn extra points when you pay for them and you'll even earn miles on this flight.
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Old Jan 31, 12, 6:47 pm
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Only card I can think of that *may* work is BofA Alaska Visa. 25000 pts should get you to Cabo and back. The points posted ~4 days after I applied, before my card even showed up. Although it does have a $75 annual fee, not waived. You could always try to cancel the card before the annual fee posts 4 weeks after approval.
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Old Feb 1, 12, 5:31 am
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OP, might want to reconsider the location of your spring break thing. Mexico is very, very dangerous.

How about Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic--or even Florida?
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Old Feb 1, 12, 5:56 am
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The Freedom or Sapphire card may work since you can pay your bill with the UR points. If OP get the card now, meet spend requirement with Spring Break trip, points and bonus will post by end of first billing statement, then use the points to pay the bill.

Having said all that it may not be a good idea to use a cc, especially a rewards card to fund a spring break trip unless you intend to pay the balance in full.

Last edited by jamflyer; Feb 1, 12 at 11:35 am
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Old Feb 1, 12, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by javacodeguy View Post
At this point, you won't be able to get the miles from any bonus in time to redeem for any travel in March. It takes almost a week from when you apply to get the card. Then even if you hit the minimum spends instantly and get the bonus on your first statement it'll be late February or early March before you get them. No miles/points card has $0 spend so it'll be at least a couple days before you hit the spend limit.
+1. Don't count your eggs before they are hatched. :-:

And remember, plan way ahead after they are hatched (meaning maybe a reward trip for spring break in 2013).

Originally Posted by Miles Meyers View Post
So I am gearing up for a round of churning in the next week or two, and now that I am in the miles game I thought it would be cool to finally have a stereotypical party spring break
(underline mine)

Don't you mean you will be in the miles game?

You didn't say but I read between the lines that you are still in college. What's your credit score? For anyone college students, the first thing they should take into account when applying credit cards is their credit worthiness and credit scores. Without high enough a credit rating/score, you probably won't be able to get any credit card with decent reward.

If that's the case, I would advise you to work on building your credit history. For that, you should visit some sites that focus more on finance and credit. The following one will be a good starter:

http://creditboards.com/forums/

Good luck!
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Old Feb 1, 12, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
OP, might want to reconsider the location of your spring break thing. Mexico is very, very dangerous.

How about Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic--or even Florida?

what a generalization. those other places you listed have crime too
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Old Feb 1, 12, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
OP, might want to reconsider the location of your spring break thing. Mexico is very, very dangerous.

How about Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic--or even Florida?
Florida is safer now that you don't risk getting assaulted by a commercial telling you what an awful lowlife unethical flipflopper all the candidates are. At least for a few months anyway.
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Old Feb 1, 12, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by javacodeguy View Post
At this point, you won't be able to get the miles from any bonus in time to redeem for any travel in March. It takes almost a week from when you apply to get the card. Then even if you hit the minimum spends instantly and get the bonus on your first statement it'll be late February or early March before you get them. No miles/points card has $0 spend so it'll be at least a couple days before you hit the spend limit.

{snip}
I applied for my Sapphire card around Jan. 7 or so, and got my points around Jan. 28. However, when I got my card, I almost immediately ran out and charged $3000. I was surprised though that they didn't wait for my statement, or even for me to make a single on-time payment.
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Old Feb 1, 12, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
OP, might want to reconsider the location of your spring break thing. Mexico is very, very dangerous.

How about Costa Rica or the Dominican Republic--or even Florida?
Oh please. Cabo San Lucas is not dangerous. I would say that he should avoid Mazatlan and Acapulco, but those are really the only tourist areas that have seen a spike in violence.
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Old Feb 1, 12, 1:46 pm
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Thank's for all the responses everyone. So couple things I should have mentioned in the original post, I got into churning a few months ago, so far I have the Chase Saphire Preferred, AA Citi Visa and Amex, Capital One Venture, and Amex Business Gold. All those cards spend have been hit and I have the points and could just use those, but I've been saving them up for an around the world trip and this spring break trip was just going to be something extra I'd throw in if I could easily earn it on one card in my next churn.

So from people's feedback it looks like my best bet may be just to buy tickets and not waste award points for this, since it is last minute and will be not be the best value for the points. I like the idea of maybe applying for the Chase Ink Bold in my next churn, buying the tickets with the card and then paying off the balance with the reward points I earn from the 50k sign up. This seems to be the best value of the points. That way if the round trip flight to Mexico costs me say $500 I'll earn 1,000 points (double points for airfare), miles on that flight from the airline, and I'll be able to pay the flight off with the 50k sign up bonus and be able to earn the entire flight from just one card sign up. Does all this sound correct?

Oh and I am a recent college grad, just still holding onto a few traditions. And my credit score is around a 720 al the way around.
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Old Feb 1, 12, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by taliesin View Post
Oh please. Cabo San Lucas is not dangerous. I would say that he should avoid Mazatlan and Acapulco, but those are really the only tourist areas that have seen a spike in violence.
Yep, I've heard pretty much the same story from lots of Americans who want to go to Mexico (or who have a condo there). But, several Mexican families living in the US tell me that they no longer go to Mexico for their traditional family meetings over Christmas by request of family members in Mexico. Just too dangerous.

The State Dept.'s travel warning for Mexico makes interesting reading. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...w/tw_5440.html
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Old Feb 1, 12, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
Yep, I've heard pretty much the same story from lots of Americans who want to go to Mexico (or who have a condo there). But, several Mexican families living in the US tell me that they no longer go to Mexico for their traditional family meetings over Christmas by request of family members in Mexico. Just too dangerous.

The State Dept.'s travel warning for Mexico makes interesting reading. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...w/tw_5440.html
several families doesn't cover the whole country. I'll be there in march. no concerns other than the usual for most places.

all the major cruise lines are still calling on mexico. they would pack up and leave if there were any issues. they all cancelled mazatlan after a couple of minor incidents.
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